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Eat, Drink, Cook: A Day of Deliciousness in Paso Robles

paso-robles-pokerI love to travel. Seeing new stuff is always fun. But, when I go to a new place, I really, really love to check out the food and wine scene. And when you’re in a place like Paso Robles, Calif., well, it’s all about the wine, food and scenery. And, as I shared last week, Paso Robles is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. With butter-colored rolling hills, old twisty gnarly trees, the smell of the ocean, and vines for miles and miles and miles, it’s pretty much my personal version of heaven. (Note: that’s not my hand. That’s my extremely tall male friend’s hand.)
And in heaven, Ryan and I with our friends Mike and Tessa ended up renting the cutest little cottage with the cutest little pink door.
Overlooking vines, hills and the gorgeous Templeton and Paso Robles area, this little cottage also had a kitchen. Which meant that breakfast was going to be good. Because in addition to being beautiful, Templeton had a Trader Joe’s. And we all know how I feel about TJ’s.
For breakfast No. 1, there was French press coffee. (The cottage had a massive French press. Again, heaven.) And a ThinkThin protein bar.
Heaven was a bit — okay, a lot — foggy that morning, but Tessa and I still managed to get out and do a few miles, being extra careful to, you know, not get run over on the windy road near our cottage.
Sweaty and feeling accomplished, we set our sights on breakfast No. 2. (When I work out in the morning, there are almost always two breakfasts involved.)
Roasted sweet potatoes with two soft-boiled eggs on top, plus more coffee. Oh, yes.
Up next, showers and wine tasting. Oh, so much wine tasting. We started out at JUSTIN. And between the grounds and the wine, it set the wine-tasting bar high. Also, it’s perfectly acceptable to be drunk at 1 p.m. when wine tasting, right?
Giddy on amazing wine, we bought a bottle of the 2011 Right Angle. Freakin’ wonderful.
After that, it’s all a blur.
Just kidding! We hit a few more tasting rooms — Tablas Creek and Turley. And then we settled in at Halter Ranch for a lunch picnic! Plus, wine tasting, of course. (And, for the record, Ryan and I were splitting tastings to not be so intoxicated that we couldn’t actually taste the wine. That is the point, after all!)
Another brilliant TJ’s purchase, we packed this earlier in the day so that we could do exactly this: sit at a beautiful winery, eat some meats and cheeses, and enjoy a bottle of damn good wine with friends.
Back at the cottage that afternoon, heaven got even more heavenly. French press coffee, at that magic hour of light just before the sun starts to go down.
Followed by, you guessed it, more wine with the sunset. H-E-A-V-E-N.
And how do you end what’s already been an amazing day? You go out for a darn good dinner. Listed consistently as the best spot in Paso to dine, I was excited to try Artisan.
A plate of steak and fries later, I can report that it lives up to the hype. Not the best steak I’ve ever had in my life, but solid.
And especially good when paired with this beauty.
We ended the night with a little low-stakes (okay, just bragging rights) poker back at the cottage. And, maybe another glass. (I was on vacation … )
And a couple pieces of dark chocolate (TJ’s caramel and black sea salt). And water. Lots of water. So that we could do it all again the next day!
A heavenly, heavenly day of eats and drinks. Tell me: have you ever been on a vacation specifically to try the food or wine? —Jenn

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